Woman of the Century/Mary Ryerson Butin
MARY RYERSON BUTIN. BUTIN, Mrs. Mary Ryerson, physician, born near Wilton, Iowa, 17th August, 1857. She lived on a farm until her eighteenth year, and then took up her residence in the village of Wilton lunction. There, with alternate schooling and teaching, she succeeded in nearly completing the course in the academy in that place, when its financial embarrassments necessitated the closing of its doors. Entering the high school, in one year she was graduated therefrom with the highest honors. At the age of twenty-one she felt the responsibility of choosing her life work. From her earliest remembrance she had heard her mother say that she was to be a doctor. The mother was far-seeing and discerned that opening for woman and her fitness for her work. Though timid and sensitive as to the opinions of others, after deliberation she decided that her duty lay in that direction. She turned with keen perception of its responsibilities from the pleasures of a young girl's life and began the study of medicine, with the help and encouragement of the family physician and his partners. She entered the medical college in Iowa, City, a co-educational institution, which at that time had enrolled a membership of ninety men and ten women. From that college she cartie forth a firm opponent of co-education in medical colleges. The following year she attended the Woman's Medical College in Chicago, Ill., from which she was graduated, in the spring of 1881, afterwards entering the South Side Hospital as resident physician. Her duties were so arduous, the lack of nurses making it necessary for her to supply that position sometimes, that, after four months' service, she resigned and returned home for rest. While on a visit to her brother in Dorchester. Neb., her practice became so extensive as to cause her to settle there, where she gradually overcame all opposition among physicians and people to women practitioners. There she met and became the wife, in May, 1883, of Dr. I. L. Butin. a rising young physician. Before she had been in the State a year, she became a member of the Nebraska State Medical Society. She was the first woman to enter that society and was received in Hastings, in 1882. Placed upon the programme for a paper the next year, she has ever since been a contributor to some section of that society. She was elected first vice-president in 1889. She has been a contributor to the Omaha "Clinic" and other medical journals, and was State superintendent of hygiene and heredity for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, county and local. Untiring in devotion to her profession, she has been ready to lend her aid to all progressive movements, and she has battled and conquered much of the prejudice against woman in the field of medical science.